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So what do we do when someone is straight up pissing us off? Our ego minds tell us we need to take action – giving us helpful advice like,
“Don’t be a doormat, don’t let them get away with that – you deserve better – you need to demand respect, put them in their place, teach them a lesson.”
This is usually followed by some form of correction, pointing out the person’s errors, telling them what they are doing that is wrong or hurtful. Maybe it is withholding affection, or a privilege or possession.
Sometimes it is disengagement, or putting up walls of protection; other times it devolves to estrangement, or divorce.
Or sometimes the action is more indirect – to just resent them and trash talk them to someone else.
I have done all of the above in my relationships, and whatever form it takes, they are all actions of separation.
The human being – being located in and identified with the body – which is not the truth of us, but is the dream of the experience we are having – has an immediate, unconscious reaction to perceived provocation. It is fear, and fear is the ego’s language and results in separation.
Sometimes the fear reaction is mild annoyance or irritation. Other times it takes a more severe form, which in psychology is called “flooding” – when the emotional reaction is complete and overwhelming.
It does not stop to consider anything – it feels almost automatic. In a sense, it is – it is the reaction of the autonomic nervous system in the body – the “fight or flight response” – that tells the body it is in danger and needs to prepare to either do battle, defend, or run away.
But the body does not react of its own accord – even though it may sometimes feel like that – people describe it as being “out of control”, or “losing it”, “going apeshit” – we’ve all been there.
However, as real as that feels, the body does not experience itself, rather, it does what the mind tells it to.
So, what is the ego-mind telling the body to do? ATTACK. Whether it shows up in the form of judgment, criticism, condemnation, making wrong – or just thinking people should be different than they are – it is fear expressed as attack.
Attack is what our ego minds do to cope with the unconscious guilt we feel because we think we separated from God. We experience fear as an underlying representation of that guilt, and instead of consciously dealing with it, we unconsciously attempt to distance ourselves from it by projecting it outward onto other people – usually those we are in relationship with.
But, I wonder what would happen if we knew that the person we were getting all pissed off at was really God?
What if God was one of us? Like the song by Joan Osborne,
“Just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus, trying to make His way home?”
Or like various other Hollywood versions of God – for instance, the one portrayed by George Burns as a good-natured wise old dude in “Oh God!”, or as a compassionate, totally silent, nose-tweaking chick by Alanis Morrisette in “Dogma”?
Or my personal favorite, Morgan Freeman in “Bruce Almighty”, who said,
“People want me to do everything for them, but they don’t realize they have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.”
Rock on, Morgan/God.
What if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were speaking to the Creator? That you were in the presence of the Divine?
What If God Was One of Us?
A Course in Miracles teaches that God is perfect Love. If you believed that you were speaking to a being of absolute, unalterable, unchanging, perfect Love, who loved you completely, totally, ridiculously, unconditionally to-the-moon-and-back, who only intended pure joy for you, how might you be different?
Would you treat Him the same way? Might you speak with kindness? With respect? With honoring? Perhaps communicate gratitude?
Would you be willing to listen to Him? Trust Him? To accept His guidance? Or would you assume that you knew what He should be doing?
Would you second-guess Him, or judge what He said? Demand that He be different? Tell Him to pick up his own damn socks?
We say that God is perfect Love, but yet we see our brothers and ourselves as flawed. But doesn’t that go against, I don’t know, science or physics or something? If God is perfect Love, and God created you, and your spouse, and your mother, and your mother-in-law, and your teen, and your co-worker, and the President… how could they be less than perfect?
How does something that creates by extension create anything not exactly like itself? What part of perfect could create imperfection? How would that even work?
So, what if we assume instead that in each and every person we come into contact with is a part of God? That the Divine spark that enlivens every person is actually the Light of God? That there is no one who does not have that light inside of them?
There is a lot of interest in ancestry and geneaology in the world right now. In some cultures there is a lot of emphasis put on one’s bloodline, from whom one is descended is seen as important, indicative of perhaps more exceptional genes.
The idea behind royal blood is the belief that Kings were descended from God and therefore superior to ordinary humans. We may believe this about certain bodies – it is one of the reasons why we have such interest in the British Royal Family – yet we have a lot of trouble getting our head around the idea that someone with whom we are in relationship is descended from God. That in talking to the spirit within them we are, in fact, talking to God.
So believing that people who are descended from kings, who are descended from God, are somehow exceptional is ok, but the idea that we are created by God by extension to have the same qualities as He is not ok and is rather, in fact, batshit crazy? That seems kinda f*cked up. I’m calling bullshit.
How might your relationships transform if you practiced consciously thinking you are speaking to God when you talk to your loved ones? Not as better than you, or more powerful, or someone to be feared or intimidated by – but as a Being Who adores you wholly, who loves you absolutely, without conditions, and thinks you totally rock, and not only wants your completely happiness – but actually knows what will bring it to you and what will not. Even if what they are presently saying or doing does not sound like that.
In A Course in Miracles, Spirit is presented as the Voice for God. He tells us that we don’t know what would make us happy. We think it is things like getting everything think we want, and having everyone do what we want them to do.
That’s definitely what our ego minds want – because our ego mind does not really want us to be happy. It wants us to be separate. But it has to make it sound cool and awesome, so we’ll think it’s what we want. It’s like a we’re a little kid that doesn’t know what is best for it, but believes that what would make itself happy would be eating only candy, ice cream, and soda; playing with matches and guns, running around in traffic, staying up all night, never going to school, and not having parents that make you do stuff. What kids don’t know is that those things not only do not bring happiness, they can actually do harm.
Adults don’t know that either, about our own wants. We often spend lifetimes chasing after things that make us miserable, insisting that we know what is best for ourselves – and often for others – handing our will over to situations that result in pain (sometimes the same situations, over and over. What’s the definition of insanity again?)
If instead, we admitted that we don’t know what we’re doing, or what would make us happy, if we truly gave our will to Spirit and asked for guidance, and followed it, and we truly believed what A Course in Miracles is telling us about who we are, we would have everything we want and be in complete joy. If we could just trust that not only are we brothers, but we are Divine, created whole and perfect by a Divine Creator Who is only capable of extending His wholeness and perfection, and that anything else that we think we see in ourselves or anyone else is a made-up misperception designed by the ego-mind to keep us feeling small and fearful, we would never allow ourselves to be in conflict ever again. There would be no reason to, because we would know the Truth, and we’d just laugh at the ego’s crazy.
If you believed that the Truth of you, as A Course in Miracles says, is that the only difference between yourself and God is that He created you, you did not create Him, how might you view yourself? If you knew as well that that was also the Truth of everyone? That we are powerful beyond measure, that we create worlds and everything in them solely with our minds, that we are capable only of love, and that extending love is not only our function – but is the only thing that will truly bring us joy.Extending love is not only our function – but is the only thing that will truly bring us joy. Click To Tweet
If you knew who you really are, you would treat everyone in your life as if they were God – not from a place of littleness, but with the deepest soul-love you can fathom, with complete trust, with reverence for their holiness which is the same as your own. You would see no separation between them and you.
A Course in Miracles calls this the Atonement – the full realization that the separation from God never occurred. This is our natural state – it is the place of pure being, pure awareness, pure presence – that state of ineffable, undefinable bliss that we were in before we had the false belief that we separated from our Creator.
The transformational tool that the Course provides us with, the light that shines all of our darkness away and leads us back to the home we never left – is the unique version of forgiveness that it teaches. This practice is what seemingly magically realigns us with our Divinity, our wholeness, our perfection. The practice of forgiveness is what enables us to see our brothers – and therefore ourselves – as the extension of God that they, and we, are.
The steps of forgiveness are:
- Forgiving the fact that that there is nothing to forgive – that you are dreaming an illusion made up by your ego mind.
- Forgive yourself for dreaming it.
- Ask Spirit to help you see it differently and heal your mind.
- Release it and trust that it has been resolved.
As you engage in this practice, your perception will shift from fear to love. You will notice as a result of you changing your projections with forgiveness that either the situation in the world will appear to change, or how you feel about it will be very different. Your investment in a particular outcome will decrease, you will feel much more peaceful and centered, and able to just let go of it as you trust more and more.
So when you next find yourself in judgment, criticism, resentment, being pissed off at, or some other form of not seeing your bro as God, remember that your willingness to practice forgiveness, to have your vision corrected by Spirit, to decide that you chose wrongly because you are not at peace, and to choose once again – is your way back to where you came from, knowing who you are, and finding joy, which is your only function as the Son of God.
Rather, you can ask,
“What if God was one of us?”
This is what makes us remember that we are one of Him.
Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. If you related to anything I talked about in the blog and would like to leave a comment below, please do so. I read every one.
If you would like to experience diving deeper with the idea of finding greater peace and joy through seeing God reflected in others, I invite you to consider starting the New Year with the ACIM 365 program. It is the workbook of A Course in Miracles accompanied by commentary from Lisa Natoli, and is fantastic for changing your perception of the world.
Whatever – and whether – you are celebrating this holiday season, know that the God in you is shining brighter than the brightest star.
I wish you all things merry, warm, and bright. Happy Festivus!
Rev Kelly Russell,
Transformational Coach & Psychotherapist
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